Evidently the GOP believes that the public is with them on this issue, preferring the economic mess that would occur if the debt ceiling isn’t raised to any additional government revenue. Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) is so sure of this that she lectured President Obama today during an interview on Fox News, explaining that “the American people” absolutely do not want to see any taxes go up:
BLACKBURN: Mr. President, you have gotten on the last nerve of the American people and they don’t want a tax increase, and you just don’t seem to understand that. What they want to do is see the size, scope and cost of the federal government cut. They want the spending cut. They want some caps in place. They want a balanced budget amendment to come out of Washington and go to the states. And Mr. President it is time for you to give it up.
Contrary to Blackburn’s pronouncement, the American people do favor increasing taxes to deal with the deficit. At Capital Gains and Games, Bruce Bartlett, a former economic adviser for both the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations, found 19 different polls showing that the American public is okay with raising taxes to reduce the deficit, particularly when the alternative is slashing important programs like Medicare or Social Security. “Contrary to Republican dogma, polls show that the American people strongly support higher taxes to reduce the deficit and improve income inequality,” Bartlett wrote.
Back in March, a whopping 81 percent of people surveyed said that they favor a surtax on millionaires to reduce the deficit. However, the GOP has refused to even consider such a move.